Plastic water bottles are very convenient for carting water around when we are on the go, as they don’t break if we drop them. It is worth paying attention to the type of plastic your water bottle is made of, to ensure that the chemicals in the plastic do not leach into the water. If you taste plastic, you are drinking it, so get yourself another bottle.
To be certain that you are choosing a bottle that does not leach, check the recycling symbol on your bottle. If it is a #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a #5 PP (polypropylene), your bottle is fine. The type of plastic bottle in which water is usually sold is usually a #1, and is only recommended for one time use. Do not refill it. Better to use a reusable water bottle, and fill it with your own filtered water from home, and keep these single-use bottles out of the landfill.
Unfortunately, those fabulous colourful hard plastic lexan bottles made with polycarbonate plastics and identified by the #7 recycling symbol, may leach BPA. (Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor, meaning it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our bodies). Synthetic chemical endocrine disruptors are particularly devastating to babies and young children.
Unfortunately, most plastic baby bottles and drinking cups are made with plastics containing Bisphenol A. In 2006 Europe banned all products made for children under age 3 containing BPA, and as of Dec. 2006 the city of San Francisco followed suit. In March 2007 a billion-dollar class action suit was commenced against Gerber, Playtex, Evenflo, Avent, and Dr. Brown’s in Los Angeles superior court for harm done to babies caused by drinking out of baby bottles and sippy cups containing BPA. So, to be certain that your baby is not exposed, use glass bottles.
For more of the science on the effects of BPA on our endocrine system etc. see these studies: Environmental Health Perspectives Journal. Nalgene, the company that manufactures the lexan bottles also makes #2 HDPE bottles in the same sizes and shapes, so we do have a viable alternative. Order one at Nalgene.
Check the recycling numbers on all your plastic food containers as well, and gradually move to storing all food in glass or ceramic. Store water in glass if possible, and out of direct sunlight.
Doheny, Brenda; Nalgene Plastics May be Harmful online at Oregan State Daily Barometer
Hunt,Patricia; “Bisphenol A Exposure Causes Meiotic Aneuploidy in the Female Mouse” Current Biology, Vol 14, 546-553, 1 April 2003.
vom Saal, Frederick and Hughes, Claude; ”An Extensive New Literature Concerning Low-Dose Effects of Bisphenol A Shows the Need for a New Risk Assessment” Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 113, No. 8, August 2005.